- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sure didn’t mince words this week when he slammed President Obama and his administration for their handling of Afghanistan: A “trained ape” could do better, he said.

“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world,” he said during a Monday night interview with “On the Record with Greta van Susteren” on Fox News. “This administration, the White House and the State Department have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius.”

Mr. Rumsfeld also said the former friendly relations America experienced with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai have gone “downhill like a toboggan” under Mr. Obama, Politico reported.

He went on, to Fox News: “United States diplomacy has been so bad, so embarrassingly bad, that I’m not the least bit surprised that [Mr. Karzai] felt cornered and is feeling he has to defend himself in some way, or he’s not president of that country. We have so mismanaged that relationship.”

Specifically, Mr. Rumsfeld faulted the current administration for publicly criticizing Mr. Karzai “over and over and over” until he felt confined “in a political box where he really has very little choice” but to rebel against the United States, Politico reported.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s comparison of Mr. Obama’s administration to an ape is likely to be viewed with rancor by many — but especially so, given the timing of his remarks to a firestorm that was just unleashed against a Belgian newspaper over a photograph of the Obamas as apes.

The Belgian newspaper, De Morgen, ran a satirical piece that included a mock-up photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Obama as apes. The newspaper, facing a massive swell on social media, ultimately issued an apology, Mediaite reported. The newspaper said it was trying to make a joke that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent in the photographs, but the punch line fell flat.

“In this case,” the newspaper said, in an apology reported by Mediaite, “we plead guilty of bad taste. We continue to be on the side of those that are battling any form of racism.”

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